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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Saturday, June 22, 2024

Derrick assists in your album purchasing

It dawned on me that I hadn't bought a CD since came out, and I really don't even know how long ago that was. It's not that I feel guilty about burning CDs'a third of my collection is probably burned. There have been a couple of releases lately that deserve to be bought, though. People make their livings off what we listen to. Even though the wrong person gets paid most of the time, the artists deserve to get the 15 percent that many of them are contracted to receive. Recent albums like Coo Coo Cal's major debut, Pete Rock's , Rasco's recent release, T.I.'s debut, Mack's and, of course, The Blueprint should generate revenue for their creators. These are people who should be paid; they help us. So in consideration of that fact, I purchased two albums today.  












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Have you ever owned an album produced mostly by Timbaland? The listener never knows what to expect, except that he or she could never know what to expect from a crazy man. He produced seven of the first eleven tracks, with Organized Noize and Fat Shan producing others. The production is nice. Timbo gives Bubba solid, at times spectacular ('Bubba Talk'), production. Organized drops that nasty Noize that everyone fell in love with. 'All the Same,' one of the best tracks on the album, features ATL talents Backbone and Sleepy Brown. Sleepy's smooth vocals, Mr. Fatface's matter of fact delivery, and Bubba's lyrics combine to create a song about the differences between black and white folks without being corny.  




One thing can definitely be said about Bubba Sparxxx. He does not sound like anyone else, and that's one of the most important rules. He's country, but he's not the country that hip-hop is used to. He's farm-fed-white-dude country, but that dude can rhyme. After you get past the novelty feeling, the listener realizes this is original material of solid quality. The first track, 'Take Off,' is an account of a restless flight on which he's too nervous to get up to go to the bathroom, can't afford the headphones, and almost gets airsick. The song is a good metaphor for the sometimes quick and scary ascension of an emcee's career.  




Bubba's album is focused on introducing his audience to his southern rural country-boy culture. He presents himself as the counterpart of many southern acts out now. He doesn't talk much about being a pimp, playa, or gangsta. He concentrates on partying, rhyming, chasing girls, and finding that next meal with no regard to your or my opinion. In that way he seems to come from the same mold as The Liks. Maybe that's why the album is so likeable. People like fun'there's too little of it in the world.  




This is not the best album of the year, but it's different than most of the albums that have been released this year. To see that, all you have to do is look inside the CD sleeve to see pictures of stock cars, lottery tickets and rear-view-mirror car fresheners. Bubba's different, and he's proud to be. That's the second-biggest reason for the great success of his single, Timbaland being the number one reason, of course. It may also be the propelling force that drives the album up the charts, into Walkmans and parties, and into the heads of so many people. It looks like Timbaland has struck white gold.  








(Heiro Imperium) 




A lot of people have understandably given up on Oakland's Hieroglyphics Crew. They started out great in the early '90s. There were great albums released by Casual, The Souls of Mischief, and Del tha Funkee Homosapien. They had more talent in their crew than anyone could scarcely remember, and no one could wait for the next installments. After those classic albums, Heiro followed with disappointing albums from Extra Prolific and Souls. The crew went into hiding or something until 1996 or 1997 when they released Casual's underground classic , along with , Heiro B Sides, and a Souls of Mischief internet release. Del went the same route, but had a much worse result. Then, out of nowhere, they released the great crew album, . This release rekindled the interests of many former Heiro heads and reinforced the faith of others.  




To promote the album, they went on tour and did show after show. Since then, the crew has released Souls' , Del's , and Casual's . Still, not much is being said about the crew these days. Pep Love, one half of The Prose (Jay Biz being the other), recently released his debut album, . On this, his first real time to shine, he lives up to his group name. It's obvious that Pep considers himself a writer as well as an emcee. Heiro's trademark lyrical detail is evident.  




The album was released on the crew's label, Heiro Imperium, as the last few have been. The crew produces all tracks except for three. The production is solid, and the rhymes are very thoughtful. Sometimes it's good to think. That should be remembered with the recent proliferation of party hip-hop. These days, the Heiroglyphics Crew should be remembered, too; they helped set the stage for so many of the popular West Coast underground acts today.

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